Mitch McConnell tells audience he would fill Supreme Court seat in 2020
Mitch McConnell tells audience he would fill Supreme Court seat in 2020
Mitch Mc Connell AP
31 May, 2019, 04:58
McConnell made the statement while speaking at a Paducah Chamber of Commerce event in Kentucky on Tuesday.
Triggering laughter from the audience, he added that doing so would be the best way to ensure a "long-lasting positive impact" in the USA and that following the law is "the most important thing we've done in the country".
"It's clear that concern over confirming Supreme Court nominations made near the end of a presidential term is not new", McConnell said in a February 22, 2016, statement.
Circumstances in 2020 are different to 2016 because Republicans now control both the Senate and the presidency, McConnell has argued.
"If there is a vacancy next year, because the White House and the Senate are the same party, we would vote to fill the slot", Popp said.
The Senate has approved more than 100 federal judges since Trump took office, including two Supreme Court justices and 41 appeals court judges.
In March 2016, McConnell defended his refusal to consider Garland by saying that the Senate hadn't filled a vacancy that occurred in a presidential election year in 80 years, and that the last time a Senate controlled by the opposition party did so during an election year was 1888. "Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and I believe that it is today the American people who are best-positioned to help make this important decision-rather than a lame-duck president whose priorities and policies they just rejected in the most-recent national election".
McConnell's comments appeared to mark a reversal from his stance three years ago, during President Barack Obama's final year in office, when he orchestrated a blockade of Obama's choice of Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. So this vacancy will not be filled this year'.
McConnell and his fellow Republicans not only denied Garland a seat on the bench, but they refused to even hold hearings on his candidacy.
McConnell's decision proved fateful for Republicans, as Trump went on to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer responded with a tweet that used characters to show a cartoon holding a sign calling McConnell a 'hypocrite'. "Seriously it's no surprise".
"Anyone who believes he'd ever allow confirmation of a Dem President's nominee for SCOTUS is fooling themselves", he added.
"I remember during the tax bill, people were agonizing over whether one part of the tax bill was permanent or not", McConnell said Tuesday. "That's the most important thing we've done for the country, which can not be undone".
Instead, McConnell said the Senate would hold off pending the results of the November, 2016 presidential election.
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